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Gamal Yafai vs. Gavin McDonnell on Brook-Rabchenko card on Mar.3

By Jeff Aranow: WBC International super bantamweight champion Gamal Yafai (13-0, 6 KOs) will be defending his strap against Gavin McDonnell (18-1-2, 5 KOs) on March 3 on the undercard of the junior middleweight clash between Kell ‘Special K’ Brook and Sergey Rabchenko at the Sheffield Arena, in Sheffield, UK.

Yafai vs. McDonnell is the co-feature bout on the Brook-Rabchenko card. It’s not a great fight for a co-feature, but then again the main event between Brook and Rabchenko isn’t that good either.

The 26-year-old Gamal Yafai is the younger brother of IBF super flyweight champion Khalid Yafai. There’s a lot of questions that need to be answered about Gamal. I think we’ll get those answers on March 3.

If Gamal has the talent to at least hang around as a contender at 122, we’ll see on March 3. I don’t think for a second that Yafai will be able to unseat any of the champions in the super bantamweight division. They’re too solid, especially WBC champion Rey Vargas. The best fighter in the division is Guillermo Rigondeaux, but he’s being stripped of his WBA 122 lb. title following his loss to Vasyl Lomachenko on December 9. Yafai and McDonnell don’t possess that kind of talent.

Yafai has been matched VERY carefully with him facing mostly poor opposition. That’s one of the easons why it’s impossible to know if he’s any good or not. What we do know is his management hasn’t been willing to put him in with good fighters. That suggests that they know something.

Here are the last 6 opponents Yafai has faced:

• Ricky Starkey (2-3-2)

• Sean Davis (12-0)

• Khvicha Gigolashvili (16-17)

• John Wale (20-8-2)

• Bobby Jenkinson (9-1-1)

• Nasibu Ramadgan (18-6-1)

There seems to have been reluctance by Yafai’s management to put him in with better opposition. They should have done it by now.

“I know I’m good enough for the big nights and this is certainly a big fight,” said Yafai to ”I believe I’m good enough to beat the likes of Gavin. It’s experience against youth, but I bring something different to the table than what he’s seen.”

We’ll see if Yafai is good enough to beat McDonnell or not. There’s no one good enough in Yafai’s resume to gauge whether he’ll be able to defeat McDonnell or not.

We already know where the 31-year-old McDonnell is in terms of talent from watching his fights with Rey Vargas and Josh Wale. McDonnell lost a one-sided 12 round decision to Vargas, although the judges scored it a 12 round majority decision win for Vargas. That was more of a one-sided affair with Vargas totally outclassing McDonnell from start to finish. McDonnell’s 12 round draw with Josh Wale in 2014 ws a real surprise, because his wasn’t a good opponent. McDonnell struggled big time.

McDonnell is the brother of WBA World bantamweight champion Jamie McDonnell, who we just saw dodge a bullet with his rematch with Liborio Solis. The fight was halted early in round 3 due to McDonnell suffering a cut.

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